There is a prevalent argument from the atheistic community that is being used to indoctrinate our children, into either not believing in God, or thinking He isn’t powerful and good. It is not a new argument, just one that continues to be touted, even though Christians have provided reasonable explanations for the existence of evil. Just this past week, I’ve been going back and forth with two young adults about this on social media.
The argument goes something like this. “If there is a god, and he is good, then why does he allow evil in the world? Is god willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then why is there still evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him god?”
Before I get too far, I think it is important to point out that nothing in their argument proves that God doesn’t exist. It is just another distraction that atheists use to get us to think about about God in a negative light.
God says His thoughts are not like our thoughts, and His ways are not like our ways. I would expect that from the God who created everything, knows everything, and who is all powerful. We are just specks of dust compared to Him, so it is rational that we would never be able to fully know and understand Him. If we could explain Him, then He wouldn’t be God. If He always acted in a way that we would expect and want, then He wouldn’t be God.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT
God is not committing evil, we are. We are the ones who rape, murder and do all sorts of evil. God is not the ones with bloody hands, we are. We need to put the blame where it belongs, with us.
In this current world, if God prevented all evil, He would have to control our thoughts, speech and actions. If He did that, would he be loving? Or would He be controlling, manipulative and evil? I think the later.
God allows evil to exist, because He gives us the free will to chose to follow Him, and to not do evil. He doesn’t want mind numbed followers, and instead wants us to choose Him. He is the perfect guest and gentleman, and will not enter, without being invited.
If evil did not exist, we would not know what good was. If all we knew was light, we wouldn’t know what darkness was. So we have to know evil to appreciate and want the good.
This question the atheists pose assumes that we mere mortals understand what is good verses what is evil. We have an understanding of evil because God has created us with a sense of right and wrong, and He is the standard of good. We are not the standard of good. Even Jesus pointed to the Father as the standard of good.
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good.” Mark 10:18 NLT
God allows evil in the world because He gave us the free will to chose to do good or evil, and because He wants us to know what good truly is.
Frank Turek from Cross Examined was at a University campus, taking questions from students, and got into the discussion of God and evil. He explained that God is the standard for good, and that evil is the absence of good. See the video by clicking here.
Talk to your children about God and evil. Let them have their questions and doubts with you while they are still living at home. That way they will be better prepared for this discussion later when they leave your home and go of to college, the military, or enter the workforce.